The new chairman of Medway’s Community Safety Partnership has been out on patrol with Kent Police to see how the new dispersal zone in one area of Chatham is working.

The trial in the All Saints district allows the police to order people to leave the area and not return for twenty four hours.

Councillor Mike O’Brien, the authority’s portfolio holder for community safety and the chair of the Community Safety Partnership said : ” “I have spoken to many residents, both adults and children, and they all say the dispersal zone has had a positive impact. The police team have established a tremendous rapport with the local community and are helping to make a real difference”

“This is a signifcant part of our long term plan to improve the quality of life for people living in this area.”

The zone helps Kent Police, working closely with Medway Council and other partners, to respond more effectively to reports of antisocial behaviour in the area. It came into force on Monday, 18 July.

Sgt Venus Coppard of Kent Police said : “The dispersal zone has been introduced to provide us with another means to prevent anti-social behaviour and prevent groups of people gathering in the area, which can be a nuisance to other residents. The zone is just one part of a longer term plan with our partners to successfully tackle crime and disorder.

“It is early days and there is still work to be done in the area but indications are that calls to the area are beginning to reduce and the dispersal zone is having a positive impact on people’s quality of life.”

The Medway Community Safety Partnership was formed in 1998 in response to the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which places a duty on councils, the police and other public agencies to form a crime and disorder partnership to tackle these problems. The partnership consists of Medway Council, Kent Police, The Drug and Alcohol Action Team, The Youth Offending Team, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and other key stakeholders.

Its purpose is to develop and rationalise a strategic response to problems; improve and clarify the structures and delivery mechanisms for tackling community safety; provide a co-ordinated approach to addressing community safety issues across the area, and achieve the aims of the Community Safety Plan.

More details about the Medway Community Safety Partnership are available at http://www.medwaycsp.co.uk

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